CD Review The Smoke Fairies Through Low Light and Trees (Shock Records) I love this album. It’s like I dreamt it, a beautiful dream in which so much of the music I love magically combined somewhere deep in my unconscious and came out just the way I wanted it. And then it was sitting there [...]READ MORE
CD Review Gareth Liddiard Strange Tourist (Shock Music) I’ve been listening to this album for a couple of weeks but I don’t think I really appreciated it till I happened to be listening to it in the recovery room after a recent operation on my knee. The surgery itself was pretty minor — repairing some [...]READ MORE
CD Review Ben Folds and Nick Hornby Lonely Avenue (Warner Music) This is an album of great highlights and utter crap, an oddly self-conscious outing by two artists who in some ways were made for each other and who in some ways bring out the worst in each other. Ben Folds, in case you don’t [...]READ MORE
Yesterday independent music distributors Shock Records (one of the best, most efficient groups we deal with here at Johnnys) sent around a press release noting the success of one of their acts: BRING ME THE HORIZON ALBUM DEBUTS AT #1 ON ARIA CHARTS In an industry where times are tough and naysayers are plentiful, Shock [...]READ MORE
I stumbled across Joni Davis’s album, A Bird’s Heart, while frigging around on We Are Hunted one day. What a find. A lovely singer-songwriter album of understated but powerful songs by someone I’d never heard of before. Serendipidity doesn’t get much better than that.
For me, the stand out track is ‘Black Smoke’, a scary chant of a song with a mesmerising melody that suits Davis’s voice to a tee. But it is far from the only good track on the album, I was pleased to discover.
Fortunately, I recently got a chance to ask Joni some questions and I hope her answers give you some insight into her music. I also hope you dig up her album and have a listen for yourself. (Try CD Baby or iTunes.)READ MORE
Robert Plant and the Band of Joy
Band of Joy
I like the musical trajectory Robert Plant has taken since the heady daze of Led Zeppelin, not least because my own tastes have described a similar arc. Not that I’m comparing myself to the rock icon, you understand; just that I find it interesting that Plant’s move into roots music mirrors precisely the path of a lot of ye olde time Zep fans I know.
I’m talking about Generation Jonesers who had Zeppelin as a staple of their musical diet and who have, through their own investigations, found their way into the folkways of the roots and alt.country scene that Plant is now involved with. What’s interesting to me is that the stories of these Gen Jonesers are often the same.
They were fanatical about whatever music they were into in their teenage years, were immersed in it so that it was a central part of their life and their identity, a state of affairs illustrated by the image of them moving into their first post-parental accommodation (generally a group house, often in another city) and taking with them — ahead of any other possessions — a milk crate (or ten) filled with LPs.
After that, moving into their twenties and thirties, getting jobs, maybe getting married, music was pushed more and more to the background. Other things, like air, became more central to their lives, though catching up with old friends, now flung to the four corners of the world, inevitably involved breaking out the old LPs, or maybe the repurchased CD versions of the old albums, and reminiscing endlessly about how great those bands were.READ MORE
CD Review Fisherking Circles (Independent) Fisherking is a four-piece Sydney band that came to some prominence after winning JJJ’s Unearthed FUSE Festival Competition in 2009. They have previously released an EP and this is their first album. It’s great. Their own blurb describes their music thusly: “Bringing a fresh new approach to blues ‘n’ roots, FisherKing’s captivating [...]READ MORE
CD Review The Verses Seasons (thru Warner Music) The Verses is the new band by former Killing Heidi siblings Ella and Jesse Hooper. And oh, what a disappointment this debut is. I love Ella’s voice, and the previous Verses’ EP showed some promise, but this album just falls flat. I’m not going to spend a [...]READ MORE
Book Review Rock Connexions by Bruno McDonald (Murdoch Books) My son and his friends at school play this game with Wikipedia where someone nominates a start page, say, Julia Gillard, and then someone else nominates an end page, say, the Codex Veronensis, and then you have to use the links embedded in Wikipedia to move [...]READ MORE